Greenwich Council reveal details of £5 million recovery fund

A few days ago I covered plans for a £5 million recovery fund in Greenwich borough after spotting details in meeting notes for the council’s Cabinet.

Greenwich Council have today put out a news story with a few more details.

Plumstead gardens is finally seeing money – though council contractors have destroyed attractive paving as part of work

UPDATE: The council have clarified that this is additional funds to the previous £1 million allocated for parks a couple of years ago, which was a cut from £1.5 million originally allocated in early 2020.

The latest allocation brings it back above that total.

The welcome investment follow’s a track record of ignoring public spaces and parks. In 2019 they spent just 0.3 per cent of Section 106 income on parks.

Thankfully that appears to be changing.

Other areas of spend

The council also state: “The refurbishment projects will include £1.7m for community centres, £1m for parks and £0.5m for leisure centres. There will also be £1m for support and outreach for residents who are struggling financially and £0.75m for mental health support and tackling health inequalities.”

Those other areas will be much welcomed by many.

A section in the story on finances isn’t entirely accurate when it states:

“Cllr Linda Perks, Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, said:  

Council finances have been hit hard in recent years and the pandemic has added to the difficulties. Our annual budgets are set based on what we receive in government grants and how much we expect to collect that year in council tax and business rates.”

There is of course another major source of funds: developer income.

As covered recently, Greenwich have a pretty dire record of collecting it let alone how and where they spend it. Last year they collected the least of any London council according to a recent TfL report. They collected £1.3 million. Cross the Thames and Tower Hamlets collected £23.3m that same year. Lewisham collected £5.8m. Even Bexley collected more. There are variations in levels of CIL per square metre of development by borough and levels of development, but none of that comes close to explaining why Greenwich are so low.

It’s not just a one-year anomaly. Since the Community Infrastructure Levy begun in 2015, Greenwich lag many other councils to the tune of tens of millions despite higher levels of development.

In five years Greenwich collected just £8,727,087 from 2015 to 2020.

In Lambeth £26,022,000 million was received from 2015 to March 2019.

Southwark have collected £46,973,130 from developers since 2015.

No S106 allocated to Crossrail in last two financial years. Little from CIL either as money not collected

Newham is around £18 million.

If and when Greenwich do finally collect tens of millions owed (as one of the top boroughs for new development in London they should not be near the bottom for income) they will be able to quickly pay off the outstanding sum of £9.1 million for Crossrail, and then be able to spend large sums improving many areas of the borough.

 

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John Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

3 thoughts on “Greenwich Council reveal details of £5 million recovery fund

  • July 15, 2021 at 7:12 pm
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    To undertake projects in a park – all parks require a plan, based on a survey, consultation and then a strategy which will provide a strong informed framework of what needs to be done and in what order. Any works should protect and enhance the historic, social and environmental assets of a park for the community.

    Reply
  • July 16, 2021 at 6:25 am
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    regardless the fact that they failed to allocate funding for this in last few years, it clearly isn’t going to stimulate the local economy.
    So seems like misuse of a recovery fund, is that even allowed?

    Reply
  • July 16, 2021 at 5:07 pm
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    PITY THEY CANNOT FIND MONEY TO REFURBISH !!!!!!! THE SOCIAL HOUSING DECAYED RUN DOWN NEGLIGENT IN APPALLING STATELESS ..STENCH DEPLORABLE UNCLEANED…DIRTY FILTHY STINKING ENTRANCES AND SHOCKING WASTE COLLECTION ? NO RECYCLE DEPARTMENT EITHER ???? BUT IMPROVEMENT TO PARKS IS PRIORITY..REALLY ????????? SO ALL NATIONS SOCIETY ARE TREATED AS PEASANTS LIVING IN SHOCKING RUNDOWN PROPERTIES IS PARAMOUNT? BUNCH OF HYPOCRITS BUT THEY SPENT 31 MILLION ON WOOLWICH CENTRE FOR ENTERTAINMENT…………MMMM

    Reply

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